Apple moves in on Microsoft’s turf with new Seattle office

4 Nov 2014

Consumer tech giant Apple is taking its business deep into the heart of Microsoft territory in Seattle, Washington, with a new office accommodating 2,000 employees to work on Apple’s network infrastructure.

It is understood that the core makeup of the staff in the new office will be former F5 engineers, many of whom had previously worked at Union Bay Networks, a local cloud start-up company that has since shut down its email service, Brier Dudley’s Blog for The Seattle Times reported.

One of Union Bay’s backers, Madrona Venture Group, declined to say whether the company was sold to Apple, the blog post added.

After enquiries, Apple would only say it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”.

The first indication that Apple is attempting to reinforce its cloud infrastructure came last Friday, after one of the principal engineers with Union Bay Networks, Ben Bollay, posted on his LinkedIn page that he will now be in charge of hiring for Apple’s Seattle office.

Now describing himself as an Apple manager, Bollay had said in the post which has since been removed that the company was “looking for talented multidisciplinary engineers to design and develop the core infrastructure services and environments driving every online customer experience at Apple ranging from iCloud to iTunes.”

Until recently, Apple remained one of the few top-level tech companies that had yet to establish offices in the north-west corner of the US. Apple now joins Twitter, Facebook and Oracle as examples of companies moving up the US west coast from California.

Seattle skyline image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic